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Def Leppard - High 'n' Dry

On July 6, 1981 "Def Leppard" released their second album, "High 'n' Dry".



If you want to hear the "Original" "Def Leppard" at its pick, then this is the album you need to start with. Before "Glam", before the big stadiums and the huge success, this is a pure New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) album. A hard rock tour-de-force that catapulted the band at its best heavy metal era. This is Pete Willis' last full album with the band and it represents a significant leap forward from their debut, "On Through the Night," largely due to their first collaboration with producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. You can say that this album is the bridge between their row unpolished debut album "On Through the Night", to their catchy and accessibly produced "Pyromania".


Working with Lange, "Def Leppard" made substantial strides while maintaining some of their raw energy. The band's lineup— Joe Elliott (vocals), Steve Clark (guitar), Pete Willis (guitar), Rick Savage (bass), and Rick Allen (drums)—is in peak form, showcasing tight musicianship and a cohesive sound. Lange's production brought a refined edge without completely smoothing out the rougher aspects of their music, allowing the band's youthful vigor to shine through.



The album features excellent tracks like "Let It Go" Kicking off the album with a powerful punch, and sets an energetic and anthemic tone that grabs the listener's attention right from the start, "Another Hit and Run" that continues the high-energy vibe with aggressive guitar work and a relentless rhythm, exemplifying the band's heavier side, the title song "High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)" reminiscent of "AC/DC" capturing the band's rock 'n' roll spirit, the instrumental "Switch 625" featuring dueling guitars with echoes of classic "Thin Lizzy", showcasing the band's musical prowess and of course the power ballad "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" the album's most famous track, hinting at the pop crossover success that would come later.



"High 'n' Dry" is widely regarded as "Def Leppard's" hardest rocking album, characterized by sharp and focused songwriting. Joe Elliott reflects on the album as a crucial step in their evolution, noting the influence and mentorship of Mutt Lange. It captures a young band hungry for success and ready to take on the world. It stands out as a genuine, raw, and unfiltered heavy metal record that contrasts with the more polished, commercially driven albums that followed. The album balances raw rock energy with melodic sensibility, a formula that would become "Def Leppard's" signature sound.


For listening: Spotify, Apple Music


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